Hello Bookworms! It’s Friday, and thus we have reached the end of Banned Books Week. We’re going out with a disaster scenario and talking about Lord of the Flies by William Golding.
This book has been challenged countless times. According to the ALA website, these complaints typically take issue with this book’s excessive violence, bad language, and racial and sexual slurs. Seriously though. Have you heard pre-pubescent boys talk? It’s not gratuitous, it’s just realistic. Parents, please remove the sticks from your backsides and let your kids learn something. It’s allegorical, you really can’t HELP but learn from it.
Lord of the Flies takes place on an uninhabited island. A plane evacuating a group of British school boys from an unspecified war zone crashes. The pilot and all adult chaperones are killed and the boys are left to fend for themselves. The story that follows explores the thin veil of civilization… And the all encompassing power of bacon. (I’m not even kidding about the bacon.) It also contributed to my fear of children in large groups. That and Children of the Corn. So. Many. Nightmares.
So. There’s a group of school boys stranded on an island. They have no supervision, no supplies, and no idea what to do next. It’s decided that a little boy named
Jack Shephard Ralph will lead the group because he found a conch shell that can be used as a horn to call the group together (and why not? I’m sure some politicians these days lack such a qualification.) Ralph is followed around by a boy called Hurley Piggy. Poor Piggy. He’s a chubby kid with asthma and spectacles. This was written so long before the outcry on bullying, but by God, this kid. He’ll break your heart.
Remember how they have no food? They discover that there are some wild pigs on the island (mmmm bacon) and Ralph organizes a hunting party. This is his downfall, because his hunting party fails.
The Others A rival faction takes root and its leader, Benjamin Linus Jack, manages to kill a pig. Coup de’ bacon, as it were. Ralph couldn’t bring home the bacon, Jack could, and the fickle boys changed allegiance to follow the boy who fed them. Makes sense, right?
This is where it all goes terribly wrong. Jack is an asshole. Maybe he wasn’t hugged enough as a child. I imagine hugs are somewhat lacking in boarding schools. He’s a bully of epic proportions. He turns the whole gang of boys against poor Piggy in order to steal his glasses. The reasoning behind the theft is that the tribe needs the spectacles to start fires (but you know a jerk weasel like Jack really just wanted them so he could fry ants.) The boys hunt Piggy down, and in the heat of their feral moment,
sacrifice him to the smoke monster kill him by dropping a boulder on his head. (Poor Piggy!!!!) They then set their sights on Ralph, who takes off to the forest to hide. Jack the Dictator decides it’s a great idea to burn down the forest to smoke Ralph out.
Oh irony! The fire they set to capture Ralph is the very same fire that signals a ship to their position. The boys rescued by a naval officer who obviously has no idea of the level of depravity these boys have displayed. He takes one look at their tribal chaos and gives them a stern “I would have expected better of British boys.” And that’s the end! For real. How could these kids not be outrageously screwed up from this? Hello, PTSD! That’s one thing I loved about The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins gave us closure, and not just a happy ending. Katniss and Peeta have serious psychological issues that follow them for the rest of their lives. I imagine it will be similar for many of the boys on this island. Except Jack. He’ll probably turn into a serial killer. I hate that kid.
So Bookworms, what do you think? What would it take for society to break down and chaos to reign? Zombies? Massive prolonged power outage? A Category 5 Hurricane? I’m seeking a friend for the end of the world, y’all. Tell me things!
…My husband helped write this post. He kept thinking I was writing a book report on Lost. Not that book reports about TV shows are a thing… But I may have humored him a little. Silly husband… I’m pretty sure he’s an alien.